Scientists Discover Fossil Of A 4-Legged Whale With A Raptor-Like Eating Style

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A group of scientists have discovered a fossil of a now extinct whale with four legs. Ths visual reconstruction by one of the co-authors of the paper, Robert Boessenecker, shows Phiomicetus anubis preying on a sawfish.

Robert W. Boessenecker


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Robert W. Boessenecker


Animals
Scientists Are ‘Spying On Whales’ To Learn How They Eat, Talk And … Walked?

In other words, these walking whales had a «strong raptorial feeding style.»

«We discovered how fierce and deadly its powerful jaws are capable of tearing a wide range of prey … this whale was a god of death to most of the animals that lived in its area,» Abdullah Gohar, one of the scientists, told Insider.

The new whale is called Phiomicetus anubis, which the scientists named in part after Anubis, the canine-headed Egyptian god associated with mummification and the afterlife. It was likely a top predator at the time, similar to what a killer whale is today.

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Three of the Egyptian authors of the paper surround the holotype fossils of the new whale, Phiomicetus anubis, at Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology center. Mohamed Sameh (from left), Abdullah Gohar and Hesham Sallam.

Abdullah Gohar


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Abdullah Gohar

Three of the Egyptian authors of the paper surround the holotype fossils of the new whale, Phiomicetus anubis, at Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology center. Mohamed Sameh (from left), Abdullah Gohar and Hesham Sallam.

Abdullah Gohar

Whales, it turns out, used to be «herbivorous, deer-like- terrestrial mammals,» the scientists write. Over the span of about 10 million years, whales turned into carnivorous creatures in the ocean. The discovery of the four-legged creature is part of that evolution.

Legs Propelled Whale Ancestor

So, a whale with legs and massive head with a vicious eating style.

Good luck sleeping tonight.

  • scientific discovery
  • fossil
  • whales

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